Professor Paul G Overton BA, PhD
BA, PhD (Sheffield)
My research interests largely revolve around the Basal Ganglia (and related structures): a group of nuclei implicated in a wide range of normal brain processes and neurological/psychiatric disorders. At present, there are three main strands to my work:
1. Regulation of dopaminergic neurons by sensory afferents.
Work is currently underway to determine the source of sensory information reaching Dopaminergic Neurons, using a combination of in vivo extracellular electrophysiology, neuroanatomical tract tracing, electrochemistry and behavioural analysis. This work will help to determine the function of the dopaminergic `message´ transmitted to other brain areas – which is currently hotly debated.
2. Neuroadaptations which underlie the effects of drugs of abuse.
The present neuroadaptations work focuses upon the effects of cocaine and d-amphetamine on sensory processing (using electrophysiology and neuroimaging). In particular, we are studying the possibility that an interaction between drugs like amphetamine and sensory processing may underlie the generation of cue-induced craving in Drug Addiction and the therapeutic effects in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
3. Basal ganglia structure and function.
We are currently deriving parameter values from neurons in the main input nucleus of the basal ganglia – the neostriatum – using whole cell patch clamping. These will be incorporated into developing Computational Models of these cells and larger scale models of the microcircuitry of the neostriatum. These studies will move us closer to a functional understanding of the the basal ganglia, and inform ongoing work aimed at developing robotic agents embodying basal ganglia circuitry.
4. Basal ganglia and emotional processing
As well as subserving a motor function, the basal ganglia also subserve a cognitive and an emotional function, and basal ganglia damage in Parkinson's disease can lead to specific problems with the processing of Disgust-related information. In order to understand the role of the basal ganglia in emotional processing more fully, I have recently initiated an initial set of investigations into disgust reactions in normal humans. Future studies will compare these data with data from clinical populations.
Please see the Adaptive Behaviour Research Group
- Overton, P.G., Berwick, Kennerley, A.J. How activation of sensory regions promotes propagation of adjacent focal neocortical seizures. Epilepsy Research UK (£147758; 2015-2018)
- Overton, P.G., Stafford, T, Panagiotidi, M, Billington, J, Morland, A, Devenne, F, Wade, A. Neuroimaging as a marker of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). White Rose Consortium (£10970; 2014-2018).
Teaching and administrative duties
I am module organiser for:
- PSY108 (Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology)
- PSY6306 (Fundamentals of Neuroscience)
A list of key publications can be found below. There is also a full list of publications.
- Veltri T, Taroyan N & Overton PG (2017) Nicotine enhances an auditory Event-Related Potential component which is inversely related to habituation. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31(7), 861-872. View this article in WRRO
- Garlovsky JK, Simpson J, Grunewald RA & Overton PG (2016) Impulse control disorders in Parkinson’s disease: Predominant role of psychological determinants. Psychology & Health, 31(12), 1391-1414. View this article in WRRO
- Brace LR, Kraev I, Rostron CL, Stewart M, Overton PG & Dommett EJ (2015) Altered visual processing in a rodent model of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Neuroscience, 303, 364-377.
- Powell PA, Simpson J & Overton PG (2015) Self-affirming trait kindness regulates disgust toward one's physical appearance. Body Image, 12, 98-107.
- Overton PG, Vautrelle N & Redgrave P (2014) Sensory regulation of dopaminergic cell activity: Phenomenology, circuitry and function. Neuroscience, 282, 1-12. View this article in WRRO
- Clements KM, Devonshire IM, Reynolds JNJ & Overton PG (2014) Enhanced visual responses in the superior colliculus in an animal model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and their suppression by d-amphetamine. Neuroscience, 274, 289-298.
- Bertram C, Dahan L, Boorman LW, Harris S, Vautrelle N, Leriche M, Redgrave P & Overton PG (2014) Cortical regulation of dopaminergic neurons: role of the midbrain superior colliculus.. J Neurophysiol, 111(4), 755-767.
- Rolland M, Carcenac C, Overton PG, Savasta M & Coizet V (2013) ENHANCED VISUAL RESPONSES IN THE SUPERIOR COLLICULUS AND SUBTHALAMIC NUCLEUS IN AN ANIMAL MODEL OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE. NEUROSCIENCE, 252, 277-288.
- Harris S, Bruyns-Haylett M, Kennerley A, Boorman L, Overton PG, Ma H, Zhao M, Schwartz TH & Berwick J (2013) The effects of focal epileptic activity on regional sensory-evoked neurovascular coupling and postictal modulation of bilateral sensory processing.. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 33(10), 1595-1604. View this article in WRRO
- Powell PA, Simpson J & Overton PG (2013) When disgust leads to dysphoria: a three-wave longitudinal study assessing the temporal relationship between self-disgust and depressive symptoms.. Cogn Emot, 27(5), 900-913.
- Clements KM, Smith LM, Reynolds JNJ, Overton PG, Thomas JD & Napper RM (2012) Early Postnatal Ethanol Exposure: Glutamatergic Excitotoxic Cell Death During Acute Withdrawal. Neurophysiology, 1-11.
- Delaney M, Leroi I, Simpson J & Overton PG (2012) Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease: A Psychosocial Perspective. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 1-9.
- Comoli E, Das Neves Favaro P, Vautrelle N, Leriche M, Overton PG & Redgrave P (2012) Segregated anatomical input to sub-regions of the rodent superior colliculus associated with approach and defense.. Front Neuroanat, 6, 9. View this article in WRRO
- Devonshire IM, Papadakis NG, Port M, Berwick J, Kennerley AJ, Mayhew JEW & Overton PG (2012) Neurovascular coupling is brain region-dependent.. Neuroimage, 59(3), 1997-2006.
- Lepora NF, Overton PG & Gurney K (2012) Efficient fitting of conductance-based model neurons from somatic current clamp.. J Comput Neurosci, 32(1), 1-24.
- Lepora NF, Blomeley CP, Hoyland D, Bracci E, Overton PG & Gurney K (2011) A simple method for characterizing passive and active neuronal properties: application to striatal neurons.. Eur J Neurosci, 34(9), 1390-1405.
- Coizet V, Dommett EJ, Klop EM, Redgrave P & Overton PG (2010) The parabrachial nucleus is a critical link in the transmission of short latency nociceptive information to midbrain dopaminergic neurons.. Neuroscience, 168(1), 263-272.
- Dommett EJ, Overton PG & Greenfield SA (2009) DRUG THERAPIES FOR ATTENTIONAL DISORDERS ALTER THE SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO IN THE SUPERIOR COLLICULUS. NEUROSCIENCE, 164(3), 1369-1376.
- Coizet V, Graham JH, Moss J, Bolam JP, Savasta M, McHaffie JG, Redgrave P & Overton PG (2009) Short-latency visual input to the subthalamic nucleus is provided by the midbrain superior colliculus.. J Neurosci, 29(17), 5701-5709.
- Overton PG, Markland FE, Taggart HS, Bagshaw GL & Simpson J (2008) Self-disgust mediates the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depressive symptomatology.. Emotion, 8(3), 379-385.
- Gowan JD, Coizet V, Devonshire IM & Overton PG (2008) D-amphetamine depresses visual responses in the rat superior colliculus: a possible mechanism for amphetamine-induced decreases in distractibility.. J Neural Transm (Vienna), 115(3), 377-387.
- Devonshire IM, Mayhew JEW & Overton PG (2007) Cocaine preferentially enhances sensory processing in the upper layers of the primary sensory cortex.. Neuroscience, 146(2), 841-851.
- Dommett E, Coizet V, Blaha CD, Martindale J, Lefebvre V, Walton N, Mayhew JEW, Overton PG & Redgrave P (2005) How visual stimuli activate dopaminergic neurons at short latency.. Science, 307(5714), 1476-1479.
- Aked J, Coizet V, Clark D & Overton PG (2005) Local injection of a glutamate uptake inhibitor into the ventral tegmental area produces sensitization to the behavioural effects of d-amphetamine.. Neuroscience, 134(2), 361-367.
- Devonshire IM, Berwick J, Jones M, Martindale J, Johnston D, Overton PG & Mayhew JEW (2004) Haemodynamic responses to sensory stimulation are enhanced following acute cocaine administration.. Neuroimage, 22(4), 1744-1753.
- Comoli E, Coizet V, Boyes J, Bolam JP, Canteras NS, Quirk RH, Overton PG & Redgrave P (2003) A direct projection from superior colliculus to substantia nigra for detecting salient visual events.. Nat Neurosci, 6(9), 974-980.
- Lokwan SJ, Overton PG, Berry MS & Clark D (2000) The medial prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the excitation of A10 dopaminergic neurons following intravenous muscimol administration.. Neuroscience, 95(3), 647-656.